How to Paint Wood Floors

How to Paint Wood Floors

Information on how to paint wood and hardwood floors and home flooring.

Craftsman Style

Probably the easiest thing to do with a floor is to paint it; a floor-paint should have a very elastic varnish for its vehicle. It is necessary that a floor-paint should dry hard and quickly, because floors must be painted frequently, and we cannot wait long for them to dry. By the use of varnish we can make a floor-paint that will dry in twelve to twenty-four hours, be water-proof, and glossy. If we make an ordinary oil-paint dry as quickly by adding driers, it is so much affected that it is not as durable as it should be; and if we do it partly by using turpentine, it diminishes the necessary amount of binder. The country painter adds to ordinary oil-paint a liquid which he buys under the seductive name of "floor paint hardener"; this is a cheap rosin varnish loaded to the last degree with driers, and is in about every rational way the worst stuff known in the whole paint business. No rosin varnish should be used on any of the woodwork of a house, least of all on the floor. The varnish should be a good Kauri varnish, or its equivalent. It ought to contain about twenty gallons of oil to the hundred pounds of resin; it will need some drier, more than an ordinary interior varnish, but its quick drying is not to be obtained by diminishing the amount of oil, or the paint will chip and flake off. An ordinary paint will do for a floor if two or three months can be allowed for it to dry.

Kitchen floors are usually painted, but it is usual to varnish or wax the other floors in the better class of houses. In such cases, if the house is building, it is very desirable to leave the surfacing floor (for all floors should be double) unlaid until the last thing; after the plastering and painting are done, there will be little danger of its being injured, and then it may be laid and immediately varnished. If the floor is of oak or other open-grained wood, it is customary to fill the pores with a siliceous paste-filler, no treatment is needed.

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